Carbon Monoxide Specialists Gas Safe Europe are another of our new Landlord Law Conference Exhibitors. Here founder and MD John Stone answers a few questions about his service – which as you will see is a very valuable one!
Please introduce yourself and your company briefly
GasSafe Europe was established in 1992 to help protect people from the potential harm caused by Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning. The company provides testing equipment for carbon monoxide (CO) and smoke alarms as well as other ancillary gas detection products.
As founder of the business, I have spent nearly thirty years in the CO alarm and testing industries and sat on the committee that first implemented the first British Standard for CO alarms and most recently advised Baroness Finlay on recent changes in Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarm legislation.
All of our award-winning products are covered by patents, design registrations and registered trademarks. For more information visit www.gassafeeurope.com.
What service do you offer to landlords and/or letting agents?
New legislation requires all landlords of private properties in England to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their properties and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance. The landlord must also make sure the alarms are regularly tested and in working order.
GasSafe Europe provides landlords with products to effectively test that the alarms are working. The CO test must be sensor inclusive as simply pressing the ‘test’ button only tests the circuit rather than the all important sensor which is proven to deteriorate over time. To help landlords undertake effective tests, our DetectaGas® product delivers a controlled and sufficient amount of CO to test the sensor effectively without risk of harm.
How will your service benefit landlords / letting agents?
Landlords who fail to comply with the legislation face fines of up to £5,000 for each property that fails to comply. Testing the alarms using Detectagas® will ensure that they are compliant and meeting the new legislation.
As well as providing equipment to effectively test their CO and smoke alarms, we also provides Triplicate Test Record Pads to help landlords evidence to local authority officials that their CO and smoke alarms have been tested and are in working order as well as tamper- proof stickers that notify residents if an alarm is found to be faulty to help ensure that they are not used and replaced.
Tell us one interesting fact related to your service
A recent investigation by Trading Standards found that as many as 8 out of 10 CO alarms did not meet the British Standards.
With an estimated 30m CO alarms in the UK, and potentially 80% not working, the significant size of the issue is clear and illustrates why the government is keen to introduce sensor inclusive testing of all alarms installed in residential properties.
Do you have any tips for landlords / agents?
Our advice is that simply pressing the button, as outlined in the manufacturers’ instructions, is no guarantee of the alarm working effectively as in itself it only tests the battery, buzzer and circuitry in the alarm but does not test the CO sensor or prove that contaminated air is reaching the sensor via the casing vents.
To effectively test an alarm, landlords and officers must ensure that the sensor is working and is able to detect gas. This is best managed using a CO alarm test kit that can be used with all domestic CO alarms. With a calibrated gas test kit a sufficient and controlled amount of CO can be delivered to test the sensor effectively without risk of harm.
Compliance for the new legislation is being managed by the Council’s Environmental Health Officers and any fines that are generated will be added to the council’s funds. This is likely to act as a partial ‘incentive’ for councils to rigorously check that landlords are compliant as those found not to be compliant face fines of up to £5,000 for each property.
Do you have any special offer for Landlord Law Blog readers?
We’re giving away 10 cans of Detectagas to the first 10 people who email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please simply put “Landlord Law” in the subject box.
Thanks John. Anyone who wants more information about John’s service and products will find him at the Landlord Law Conference Exhibitors area.
To find out more about the Landlord Law Conference and to book your ticket click here.